Writers and designers alike are always looking for that one great statistic to hook their readers or send the point home. The research process can be long and tedious if you don’t know where to look, or you could end up crawling down a rabbit hole looking for the original source. Fear not — we have you covered. Use these resources to get all the data you need to create compelling, data-driven content.
Image via Flickr by KamiPhuc
Sometimes you just need a quick statistic or a few data points to complete your project. Check out these sites to find unique data fast.
Have you ever wondered how many ants there are in the world or how many students currently attend UGA? NumberOf.Net will tell you just that, and nothing more. Don’t expect any fluff or explanations — just a question and an answer. You will, however, see the date the statistic was verified so you know that data is accurate and updated.
Gapminder has a passion for improving the world and keeps a page for data to see just how far they have to go. Statistics include social issues and topics like:
- Percentage of Adults with HIV
- Age of First Marriage for Women
- Cause of Death in Children
They have more than 500 links to studies and cover a wide variety social justice topics. They also link back to the original source in case you need to find out more.
This site is beloved by marketers for analyzing buzz, but can also be used to find data and charts to analyze trends over time. Google Trends is perfect if you’re hoping to study the life cycle of a meme or want to plot the rise and fall of politicians during the year before an election. The charts are clean and easy to digest, and there’s room to compare one trend against others.
For more in-depth analysis, consider these options. They’re useful if you find yourself searching for data often, or need more than light, common knowledge to power your content.
There are plenty of free reports and data offered through Gallup, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg compared to what this site offers. They offer a variety of polls, analytics, and educational resources. We recommend easing yourself in and subscribing to the free version so you can learn about the content before diving deep into it.
Would you like access to 20,000 studies, 3,000 statistical dossiers, and 80 industry reports? If so, check out Statista. This site is one of the largest statistics portals in the world, and offers a free and premium version depending on your needs. The premium version unlocks dossiers and industry studies along with downloads and even the ability to upload private studies of your own. It’s incredibly easy to use and a favorite of designers and researchers everywhere.
You can always count on the government to track the facts and behavior of its citizens, so why not use that data to compile a killer infographic?
The United States Census Bureau
Stop here for information about population change, demographics, education, and finance information. This site can be incredibly useful if you’re creating a graphic about politics, the economy, or cultural shifts in America.
The CIA World Factbook
For information outside of the United States, consult the World Factbook. This site is updated daily with new information covering cultures, landscape, world leaders, and cross-nation politics. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a topic overview before a deep dive, but it also has unique lists and statistics that many other places haven’t compiled.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Turn to the BLS for employment information, hiring trends, information on job titles, and salary information. Are you curious about how much a marketing manager makes over a marketing assistant? The BLS is where you go. This site helps when you need to predict growth and explain trends in the next 10 years.
Create Your Own Data
While highlighting a peer’s research or quoting an industry blog are wonderful ways to build connections and assert your authority, nothing generates links and buzz like your own data. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for (or just want to add your own spin) consider launching a survey of your own and publishing the results in a white paper or infographic.
Google Forms are one of the most diverse tools in the Google Drive. Companies use them for everything from customer service to job applications. These forms take very little industry know-how to create, and can easily be linked to in an email, Tweet, or Facebook post. All of the data is aggregated into a spreadsheet, which makes analysis flexible and easy.
This site is great for beginners who want to grow their audiences and become thought leaders in their field. Get started with the free version and create a few surveys that sum up what you’re hoping to learn, and then expand to the paid version once you have the budget and resources. Survey Monkey is one of the largest survey software providers available, so your audiences will be familiar with the platform.
You don’t have to send an email blast to your audience to collect a large sample of data. Instead, post a one- or two-question survey on your homepage and collect data from anyone who visits your website.
If you’re hoping to expand beyond your readers, utilize display ads and target relevant blogs, or post a Twitter poll and ask your followers to share it. Finding data doesn’t have to involve a long and complex process. You can have a question answered by 300 people in a few hours.
There is so much information and data on the web that you’re bound to find what you’re looking for after a few short clicks. If you’re still struggling to find data for your content, reach out to forums like Quora and Reddit. These communities are incredibly passionate and can point you in the right direction.